Upgrading the Economy

Upgrading the Economy

Labour Manifesto 2017:

Our economy is suffering from years of neglect by governments that have refused to support our industries, businesses and workers. This wasted potential is holding us all back. Inequality has ballooned as the economy has shifted towards low-paid, insecure jobs.

Britain’s manufacturing base has declined and we have relied too heavily on the financial sector, centred on London and the South East.   And while the South East struggles with a rising cost of living crisis, many northern and coastal towns have watched as their economies and communities are left behind. Britain’s failure to get all its regional and local economies working can be seen in the deterioration of the country’s current account, weak productivity growth and underinvestment in infrastructure.

Britain can only be stronger if every nation and region is given the resources and support to succeed.  Only a Labour government with a credible industrial strategy can reach this untapped potential and deliver prosperity to every corner of our country, working with devolved administrations.

Our industrial strategy will be built on objective, measurable missions designed to address the great challenges of our times. In meeting these challenges, we will move beyond the narrow approaches of the past, and mobilise the talents and resources of our whole country to deliver an economy fit for the future.

The first missions set by a Labour government will be to:

  1. ensure that 60 per cent of the energy comes from zero-carbon or renewable sources by 2030
  2. create an innovation nation with the highest proportion of high- skilled jobs in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development by 2030.  We will meet the OECD target of 3 per cent of GDP spent on research and development by 2030.

In order to create a fertile ground for businesses to achieve these missions Labour will take action across the areas we know are necessary for business and industry to grow:

  • Skills by creating a National Education Service for England.
  • Infrastructure – by investing £250 billion over the next ten years.
  • UK supply chains by targeting government support where there are gaps.
  • Trade – by negotiating a new deal with Europe that puts jobs and the economy first.
  • Procurement – by requiring the best standards on government contracts.
  • Research and development – by committing extra research investment.
  • Energy costs and security – by capping costs and investing in new publicly owned energy provision.

While our industrial strategy is one for growth across all sectors, Labour recognises that certain sectors are
of strategic significance to the economy. For each strategic industry, the next Labour government will establish a council modelled on the highly successful Automotive Council) to oversee its future security and growth. We will also encourage private investment by removing new plant and machinery from business rate calculations.

National and local government spends £200 billion a year in the private-sector procurement. Labour will put that spending power to good use to upgrade our economy, create good local jobs and reduce inequality. We will require firms supplying national or local government to meet the high standards we should expect of all businesses: paying their taxes, recognising trade unions, respecting workers’ rights and equal opportunities, protecting the environment, providing training, and paying suppliers on time. We will expect suppliers to reduce boardroom pay excesses by moving towards a 20:1 gap between the highest and lowest paid.

We will appoint a Digital Ambassador to liaise with technology companies to promote Britain as an attractive place for investment and provide support for start-ups to scale up to become world-class digital businesses. Our Digital Ambassador will help to ensure businesses are ready to grow and prosper in the digital age.



Full Manifesto 2017

The UK trade deficit needs to be reduced.  This can be done only by rebalancing economy towards a stronger manufacturing sector.  The exchange rate against other major currencies therefore need to be more competitive.

  • low and medium technology manufacturing can be made profitable with the exchange rate around £1 close to $1
  • service sector wages would grow as the manufacturing sector grows
  • re-industrialisation is key to increasing productivity
  • free trade agreement with Europe would be necessary to gain maximum benefits
  • austerity needs to be abandoned
  • selling UK assets (public utilities, property, companies) needs to be reduced to make currency more competitive

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